American List Counsel (ALC)

State of the Co-ops ’08
July 1, 2008

With mailing costs rising and the economy slumping, will catalog co-op databases remain relevant in tomorrow’s multichannel direct-marketing environment? The pool of hot names is certainly drying up as the number of catalog mailers is thinning. Witness the passing — or likely scaled-down futures — of the Lillian Vernon, BlueSky Brands, Bloomingdale’s by Mail and The Sharper Image catalogs. Likewise, the number of co-op databases fell to seven over the past year, with American List Counsel pulling the plug on its PerformanceLink database after two years. This year’s report, with each co-op listed in alphabetical order, recaps what each of them has

The infoUSA-Direct Media Deal: The Experts are Buzzing, What’s Your Take?
February 1, 2008

The news of infoUSA’s acquisition of Direct Media sent the combined reaction of total expectation and shock waves throughout the catalog/multichannel list industry. My own opinion is that this deal was to be expected considering the path that infoUSA has been going in recent years. Direct Media joins the infoUSA stable that contains Millard Group (including its most recent pick-up, Mokrynskidirect), Edith Roman, Rubin Response, Walter Karl, JAMI Marketing Services and American Church Lists. Then again, it’s a little surprising considering that Direct Media was sold to Acxiom nearly 12 years ago, only for Direct Media’s management team to buy the company back four

State of the Co-ops ’07
July 1, 2007

With the postal rate increase in effect and the marketplace demonstrating fierce competition, catalogers are seeking more efficient ways to handle the database information they accumulate. Certainly, there’s no shortage of companies that offer to streamline the process, but how do mailers know which of them is best for their needs? Here (in alphabetical order) is what the nation’s eight cooperative database firms are doing this year to set themselves apart. Abacus Alliance Acquired by marketing technology firm Epsilon earlier this year, Abacus recently launched its next generation solution, Abacus ONE, based on the company’s current proven modeling system. “We have taken what was

B-to-B Prospecting: Dig Deeper for Better Names
May 1, 2007

B-to-B catalogers’ prospecting list strategy has never been more important. Why? “You have a universe of shrinking names,” says Kim Lowenthal, executive vice president at American List Counsel. “To put it simply, the volume of business names is less than before.” Plain and simple, fewer names for prospecting can slow sales growth. And many mailers trace sluggish sales to list universes that shrank years before they felt the decline on their top lines. To meet your file growth goals, you’ll probably need to use several prospect list selection techniques and strategies. And by selecting the best lists from a variety of sources, you

Weighing In on the Catalog Co-op Databases '06
July 1, 2006

By Matt Griffin Now an eight-player field, consumer co-ops widen their offerings. What works best foryour catalog? With five established cooperative databases in the market, and three others trying to make headway in the past year, you might wonder what exactly separates each of these from one another. Whatever sets each co-op apart, the important thing to consider is that constant testing will prove whether the models offered by each company actually work. "Certainly you have to be willing to test the different databases, and you have to be willing to test different models," says Bob Webb, senior vice president of marketing for

Special Report Lists
October 1, 2004

By Alicia Orr Suman The Causes of List Fatigue ... and eight tips on how to beat it List fatigue is top of mind for many direct marketers these days. What is list fatigue, what causes it, and how can you combat it? Reductions in catalog prospecting circulation over the past several years, in conjunction with shrinking list and co-op database universes and an overall weak economy, have led to what commonly is being referred to as "list fatigue." How, you may ask, can a list become fatigued? Jo Ann Alberts, vice president of list brokerage and management

The B-to-B Mailer’s Rules of the Road
July 1, 2000

“Compared to the business-to-business arena, consumer direct marketing is a no-brainer.” —Lee Kroll, Kroll Direct Marketing Many will disagree with Lee Kroll’s statement. But I, for one, think he’s dead on. Read on, consider all of the challenges the b-to-b marketer faces when it comes to lists, and decide for yourself. Consumer Direct Marketing The universe has roughly 110 million households. Most receive mail in a box or through a slot in the front door. They answer their own telephones. True, in the words of Chicago freelancer Lea Pierce, “All mail is opened over the wastebasket.” But, chances are pretty good that if you